Saturday, February 25, 2012

Canucks end Red Wings home ice dominance, for now

The Red Wings home winning streak ended at 23 Thursday night against the Canucks. Vancouver played an excellent game and out shot the Wings, but still needed a late game-tying goal to send it into overtime and then a shootout where Alexandre Burrows would be the hero.


"We got outshot (17-5) in the first, and Howie did a good job for us just to survive the first," Babcock said. "As the game went on, we got better. They dominated in the overtime and then won in the shootout. We can skate way better than this." (

Friday, February 24, 2012

Coaching Character and Performance, Hockey Edge Newsletter February 2012

Do superstar hockey players need to be characters and not brimming with character? Many coaches may think that the most talented players may also be the biggest characters. This is reinforced by images we see of Terrell Owens’ antics, for instance. But, I do not believe this is the case, especially in hockey. In my local area the Red Wings have had two exemplary captains the last two decades; Steve Yzerman and Nik Lidstrom. Both are hall of fame players with great character.

These are just two examples, but I am sure you can come up with others. Recent captains like Sakic, Messier, Niedermayer, and Brind’Amour were quality people who were great leaders and players. So, it is my opinion that character and performance can co-exist and should. As coaches we need to be teaching character not only to develop better people but also to enhance individual and team performance.

Hockey Edge Newsletter February Issue 2012 Locking in on the Moment

The ability to engage in and focus on a task in the present time, or as I say “lock in on the moment”, is absolutely necessary for performing well in big moments. Mario Manningham gave us a shining example of being locked in. For three quarters of Super Bowl XLVI Manningham was not noticeable. Eli Manning, quarterback of the New York Giants, had not thrown Manningham’s way much, if at all. Giants’ receivers had not taken charge of the game by making big plays down the field despite the predictions that they would be the difference in the game.

What transpired in the fourth quarter can be chalked up to being prepared and locking in on the moment. Manningham went from forgotten to the center of Manning’s attention. He was ready. Manningham stayed engaged in the game so that when the most crucial moments arrived he was ready to capitalize on the opportunity. Manningham’s circus catch on the sideline during the Giant’s final drive to take the lead was eerily familiar to David Tyree’s “helmet-grab” in the game-clinching drive of Super Bowl XLII. Manningham being ready to play and locked in allowed the Giants to win the Super Bowl.

Tuesday, February 7, 2012

Timeouts; An Important Tool for Coaches to Change Momentum

In Sunday's Atlantic Division battle between the Philadelphia Flyers and New York Rangers, Rangers' Coach John Tortorella's decision to use a timeout early in the game helped his team stave off a persistent Flyers attack in a 5-2 victory. In today's NHL coaches are more liberally using their one allotted timeout. Whether it is to slow down the charging attack of a team on the comeback or to rest players after an icing call, coaches are more likely to use the timeout at any point during the game.

Traditionally, NHL coaches saved their timeout until the end of the game in case they needed it to set up a play to tie the game or even to get the goalie out and ease the transition to 6-on-5 play. This is no longer the case. Flyers Coach Peter Laviolette's famed timeout in Game 7 versus the Boston Bruins in the 2010 playoffs helped to turn the tide of a series. As the Bruins' fans were near bedlam Laviolette calmly implored his players to get the next goal during a timeout in the second period. Down 3-0 in Game 7, the Flyers stormed back to win 4-3 and shock Boston who had a 3-0 edge in the series.